Climate Action

Simon Daniel on the role smart energy technologies will play in the future energy landscape

Ahead of the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2021, Climate Action caught up with Simon Daniel, Founder and CEO at Moixa, to discuss the role smart energy technologies will play in the future energy landscape.

  • 12 October 2021
  • Rachel Cooper

Ahead of the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2021, Climate Action caught up with Simon Daniel, Founder and CEO at Moixa, to discuss the role smart energy technologies will play in the future energy landscape.

Can you tell us a bit about what Moixa does and how as a company you can contribute to the transition to net zero?

Moixa is a leading UK smart battery and AI software company, and a Cleantech global 100 company with a mission to manage the world’s batteries. Moixa has won and delivered a wide portfolio of UK backed government grants and projects, helping to create a leadership position in software to enable a future powered by renewables, and deliver a path to net zero in energy and mobility. Moixa also participated in COP25 on Green Finance and is pioneering a net zero pension model to help fund trillions towards delivering COP26, net zero and Covid recovery. Moixa develops a customisable cloud-based software platform called GridShare that connects storage devices to the grid to enable smart energy management. It applies AI and machine learning to optimise power distribution through the grid and helps customers maximise the value of energy. Moixa’s scalable AI software can be applied to all companies with large vehicle fleets to put managers in full control of their energy use and emissions. GridShare already hosts the world’s largest single fleet of domestic batteries across more than 30,000 homes in Japan. We are committed to supporting the move away from fossil fuels by optimising the way people generate, distribute and consume renewable energy. Our focus is always on value for the end user, and we believe a sustainable future is one that brings benefits to all involved.

With energy demand only set to increase, how should we be adapting to this? What role do smart energy technologies play in the future energy landscape?

Finding ways to produce flexibility on the grid is crucial to decarbonising our electricity supply. Technologies such as GridShare software increase the number of virtual power plants that can drive flexibility on the grid by enabling thousands of home solar and battery systems to charge up from the grid when there’s excess power, or discharge the solar energy already stored in batteries to power households. This allows households to play a more active role in the local energy market while increasing the amount of renewable energy circulating on the grid. Active consumer participation is the key to a greener, cheaper energy future. Local markets can reflect the wider stresses on the system, such as grid constraints, and can be used as test beds for wider implementation of energy storage solutions. Local needs create the right environment for the best, most innovative technologies to be deployed, and can represent the kind of stresses on the system that we anticipate becoming commonplace in the future.

How can AI and machine learning techniques optimise power distribution throughout the energy grid?

Moixa’s GridShare uses AI to identify home generation and consumption patterns, weather forecasts and historic generation. This information is then used to generate a charging plan to power the household from the cleanest and cheapest energy from the grid which can double savings and ensure that batteries deliver value all year round.

GridShare also aggregates those distributed assets into a Virtual Power Plant, helping the grid maintain a stable frequency to avoid blackouts and relieve stress by absorbing excess generation from renewable energy. Before smart energy storage, the only way for the grid to meet the high energy demands across the UK was for them to rely on a range of traditional energy sources, which would often have been done through a process that involved burning fossil fuels. However, owners of batteries with GridShare software can now provide a more sustainable option to take the pressure off the grid by automatically discharging the solar energy already stored in batteries to power their homes, or alternatively, by sending their energy to the grid. 27% of world greenhouse gases come from the production of electricity from non-renewable resources. Even if clean electricity cannot solve the climate disaster on its own, it definitely plays a key role in our race to net zero and goes beyond traditional electricity usage by enabling clean transport via electric vehicles and electric heating/cooling systems, powering mega plans from renewable resources. At Moixa, we’re proud that our own innovative AI technology has become a vehicle for change by enabling more renewable energy on the grid through optimisation of renewable energy storage and intelligent electric vehicle charging solutions.

Are markets delivering the right signals for investment into power distribution grids, or will the transition depend more strongly on actions/policies from local and national governments?

The market is correctly recognising the importance of ESG in investment and assets. This will rise significantly to direct pensions and investment to fund billions into climate jobs, infrastructure and the energy transition, as well supporting the climate transition in emerging countries. However, more must be done in scaling this up to the trillions needed per country to deliver net-zero, where we view unfunded pension liabilities in companies and countries, must be focused on raising debt today to deliver renewable infrastructure that delivers net zero energy and mobility as services. National policies need to focus on this overall funding challenge of reducing long term debt by making initiatives in infrastructure, COVID recovery, climate delivery, jobs and economic recovery and pension liabilities all work together for the common purpose of net zero and reducing debt. This needs to be a mandate of all governments. Within this, a critical focus is transitioning the energy system to distributed renewable assets, smart controls, storage, electrifying households and delivering efficiency and electrifying transport.

How is Moixa working to engage companies and consumers with the ‘energy revolution’ that is happening right now?

At Moixa, we believe in the potential of digital technologies and AI in the energy transition through global collaboration. We work with international corporations by educating them on how they could fast-track electrification and low carbon transition, leverage software and new business models. We also collaborate with international OEMs in automotive and energy storage industries looking for support in their own race to net zero as well as local and international utilities interested in green electrification. We’d like more of the conversations to be focused on the role of digital technologies and AI in energy optimisation and flexibility delivery via virtual power plants to enable a low carbon grid. We also need to develop the role of UK enterprises in attracting international investment and partnerships to enable global corporations to deliver on their net zero strategies across automotive, trading, energy storage, working together to achieve low carbon. We work with global companies such as Honda to deliver the most advanced AI powered smart charging service in Europe in collaboration with major European energy players including Octopus, Vattenfall and Centrica to enable more electric vehicles on the grid that are not only cleaner but also more affordable to charge from renewable sources. We also manage the world’s largest virtual power plant of residential batteries produced by ITOCHU in Japan (~300 MWH) that are managed by AI technology built in the UK. This technology is already having an impact by allowing weather alerts and supporting new dynamic tariff creations for more flexible and greener energy.

Moixa are speaking at the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2021, to join them register here now.